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Expenditures on dental care and medicines are a heavy financial burden for about half of households
Income and Living Conditions
Expenditures on dental care and medicines are a heavy financial burden for about half of households - 2022
19 May 2023


According to the results of the 2022 Survey on Living Conditions and Income, 75.5% of the population aged 16 and over consulted a general practitioner in the 12 months prior to the interview (5.8 pp less than in 2017).

In 2022, only 57.4% reported having consulted a dentist or orthodontist in the same period, which reflects, however, an improvement compared to 2017 (53.4%).

There were also 52.5% who consulted other medical or surgical specialists (except dentists and orthodontists and general practitioners or family doctors) in the 12 months prior to the interview, a proportion slightly lower than that estimated for 2017 (53.1%).

Women reported having had more medical appointments and more frequently than men, with 80.6% having consulted a general practitioner, 59.7% a dental care provider and 57.8% other medical specialists, compared to 69.8%, 54.8% and 46.6%, respectively, for men.

There are no substantial differences in access to general practice consultations between the population at-risk-of-poverty and people not at-risk-of-poverty, but more than half of the population at-risk-of-poverty did not have any dental care or other medical specialists’ appointments in the 12 months prior to the interview.

In 2022, 45.8% of households evaluated the expenses with medical care as somewhat burdensome or heavy burden, 49.7% in the case of medicines and 51.7% in the case of dental care, despite the decrease in these proportions compared to 2017: respectively, 48.4%, 54.5% and 54.7%, especially in the case of the financial burden of medicines. The negative assessment of the financial burden of health care is higher for the at-risk-of poverty households, especially for dental care (59.4% of at risk of poverty households) and medicines (61.6% of at-risk-of-poverty households).

According to the Survey, more than half of adult population was overweight (37.3%) or obese (15.9%); 80.2% consumed fruit daily; 63.3% consumed salads or vegetables at least once a day and almost half of the population practice regularly some physical activity at least once a week.

Daily tobacco use was mentioned by 14.1% of the population.

In 2022, 4.1% of the resident population in Portugal was in a moderate and/or severe food insecurity condition, slightly lower than the value for 2021 (4.3%) and 2019 (4.7%).

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